SPOT Festival in Aarhus = Danish and Scandinavian music at their best. Two days with amazing artists, great atmosphere and huge amount of concerts.
The first day of Spot Festival started with Orange Extended show and it was better and better with each concert. At 16:40 one of the INTERSpot project shows started. German artist Masha Qrella and super-lovely Danish band Dangers of the Sea played on the Blackbox stage. International cooperation turned out to be a very nice performance. Both Masha Qrella and Dangers of the Sea presents more around-acoustic music with a hint of singer-songwriter style. It could be seen that they had a good time working together and sharing the stage.
One of the highlights of Day 1 was the I Got You On Tape show. When I heard first notes of “Spinning for the Cause” – I knew that this is going to be one of the best concerts at SPOT Festival. And it was. I GOT YOU ON TAPE are perfect live, especially the drummer was giving his best. Charisma and faith in the music were present on stage during the whole show and the audience appreciated it. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful concert.
A tip from the Danish friend – “You have to see Schulz & Forever” – took me to Radar. And it was the best tips I could possibly get. The leader of Schulz & Forever, Jonathan Schulz, is only 17 years old. But I would never say that after the concert. Adorable, a little bit shy Dane captured the audience by his guitar songs and pretty, mature lyrics. A bit serious, his rough voice made me think of a million things at once.
Friday night line-up of Spot Festival was ruled by super-great Danish electronic. Big thumbs up for two concerts: Bottled In England and Spleen United. Bottled In England burned out the audience at Katapult. I knew before that the band is great live. After their concert in Aarhus, I found out that they also have a super cool ideas for musical experiments. Nothing at the whole SPOT Festival can be compared to the unbelievable performance of them with a guest appearance by Maria Mortensen from Scarlet Chives. One word: massive!
Another musical bomb that blew away the audience at the SPOT Festival Garden was the Spleen United gig. Four Danes entered the stage at 23:45 and totally smashed it! Powerful doze of strong, heavy, energetic, aggressive electronic beats was just…mind-blowing. The audience went crazy and the concert showed that Spleen United are in a very good shape.
After Spleen United, everybody wanted to party more. So almost everybody went to see Reptile Youth at Blackbox. Those who got inside, could go crazy a bit more. I didn’t make it. But it wasn’t hard to find another concert and a party to enjoy the night at SPOT Festival.
Deep breath and…after Spot Festival 2012 DAY 1… because day 2 came. It’s Saturday morning. Well… to that “morning” maybe, because 11:15 is closer to noon. Aarhus is sunny and windy (the wind makes it sooooooo cold, but that’s ok). People are gathering around at the V58 yard. They’re sitting down on big pillows, drinking beer and enjoying the light and nice music. Spot DAYPARTY. It is “day” and it is a “party.” It’s also lovely.
It all starts very summer-style, even tropical you may say, with The Eclectic Moniker concert. Joyful, super light sounds, bongos, guitars and relaxation floating from the music makes the audience dream. My number 1 and the biggest discovery of Spot Festival 2012? Jonathan Schultz with his band Schultz and Forever, which also showed up at Spot Day party and gave another great concert.
The best from Spot Dayparty was a show of Cody. You can dive into their music, melt down, and disappear in it… The atmosphere of the picnic and a sunny day went behind some kind of musical mist, when the first sounds from Cody had started.
At the end of Spot Dayparty there was a strong Danish accent. I was very curious if Ulige Numre are so good live as I have heard. The answer was short and satisfactory – they are great. Really. Retro-style at its best.
After a lovely time at the Dayparty, the real Danish musical heaven appeared in Aarhus. Seriously. Heaven. First because of the show of Boho Dancer. The mix of acoustic music and folk on their EP Furry Skin is intriguing. On the stage Boho Dancer released the whole potential of their mini-album. The vocalist Ida Wenøe was “leading” the band with amazing charisma through the whole concert. Watch out for this band, they can go far!
After Boho Dancer concert at Atlas, direction: Musikhuset, Lille Sal. That’s where Spot Festival 2012 NAKED project concerts took place twice – on Friday and on Saturday. Four Danish singers: Ane Trolle, Silas Bjerregaard (Turboweekend), Clara Sofie and Johan Olsen (Magtens Korridorer) and Swedish pianist: Gustaf Ljunggren. Each from the artists presented four compositions. But they were re-arranged to only the piano. Nothing more. Because with the magnificent voices – there was nothing more needed to create amazing atmosphere. Especially Silas Bjerregaard from Turboweekend gave his best, singing the stunning piano version of Trouble Is and a moving new song I Forgot.
After touching time in the Lille Sal of Musikhuset I came back to Atlas once again. To see the concert of a young Dane that got me with his debut album Sunken Ships. Asbjørn played dynamic concert, so full of life! It was impossible to stand still during his performance. He created the bitter-sweet party atmosphere that was hard to forget after the show.
The same thing about Rangleklods. His debut album Beekeeper is a wind of freshness that I was waiting for in Danish (but not only) electronic. And how is he live? Live it is a lot more than a man with a laptop. He gave energetic, wild and piercing through senses concert. The music took control over the audience.
Spot Festival 2012 closing concert started at 1:40. Danish-Islandic project Kúra appeared on the Katapult stage. Three musicians and the drummer re-arranged the songs from the debut album Halfway to the Moon and gave them more expressive, strong character. The last song of the show (and of the Spot Festival 2012) was Follow Your Heart. My favorite from the album and the one that has the biggest live potential. The crystalic voice of the vocalist Fanney unlocked tones of emotions and it all sounded so vivid and moving at the same time. And when the last sounds of Follow Your Heart came to the end I had tears in my eyes. Because it was the end of Spot Festival 2012.
Not all concerts were great. Some of them were very disappointing and they aren’t worth mentioning. The lines and full venues made things a bit difficult for me and I missed a lot. There were some special gems and moving moments, some totally wild shows. What’s left? The great, super-cool feeling inside that Danish music really has great potential.